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Match 12 (22nd scheduled) 2022: July 31

Pimlico Strollers CC vs Highgate Irregulars

Strollers strike twice in double header win over HICCs
posted: August 01, 2022

Pimlico Strollers v Highgate Irregulars, 31 July 2022

On a day that will doubtless be more celebrated for the victory of the brave Lionesses over the Germans to win Euro 2022, the Strollers carved out our own small slice of history by beating the Highgate Irregulars not once, but twice on the same afternoon!

The reason such a feat came about was the result of a merciless display with the ball, with our scheduled fixture ending extra early as we cruised to an 8 wicket win in under 15 overs shortly after tea. Having won the toss and withstood the predictable grumbles of his team mates having opted to bowl first on a muggy afternoon, skipper Varun was rewarded with a trio of early wickets from Abhik who made hay with a mixture of lively bounce and a full length earning him two LBWs and a yorker to see off Hearn. This was interlaced with a textbook take behind from Fenil (making a very welcome reappearance on a return visit from India) when Ramani edged one from Karthik.

With the oppo on the ropes at 24-4, the HICCs talisman Tony Mitchell looked to steady the ship but only made it to 22 before he chipped a low one from Rohit to Spencer lurking in the covers. Oppo skipper Giles offered a little more resistance before he too was well taken by Davie G at cover point for 25. From then on the wickets tumbled regularly thanks to some more excellent catching, including a leaping dive from Fenil to see off Thatcher and a sharp reflex take from Gav off Kash to dismiss Rockum ...Abhik wryly noting that the Strollers' years-long ploy to bring slip into play against the left armer had finally paid off. In the end the HICCs were skittled for just 118 and we headed off to the pavilion for an early tea.

Our response with the bat was ruthless with Fenil – promoted to open the innings – joining Kash to pile on the pressure from the get go with a succession of lusty blows and a run rate of 8 an over. After just six overs our fifty came up without loss before Fenil took one swing too many and was bowled for a valuable 35 by Tony. Spencer kept our momentum up with Kash as the two put on an easy display of strokeplay around the ground until the latter holed out to David for a well-made 30, bringing us to within 25 of victory. All that remained was to get there and this we did without further incident with Gav caressing one through cover in the fifteenth over to secure the win with Spencer unbeaten on 34.

With the clock having not yet struck 5pm, a quick decision was made between skippers Varun and Giles to go again with a 15 over thrash to make the most of the sunny weather. Already padded up, we batted first with Ron striding out to join Gav, upping the ante to kickstart our innings at a rate of 10 an over. After four overs, the big man decided it was only fair to let his team mates who hadn't yet batted have a go, so he retired and made way for Abhik who looked in great touch until, on 19, he fell victim to a spectacular overhead catch from Tony who clung onto a scorcher that looked destined for six.

Ron powered on although lost Ali and Rohit, who both fell cheaply, on his way to what promised to be a ferocious fifty until he holed out to Wesley for a fine 48. Varun followed in similar fashion to Rockun but Karthik carried on where Ron left off with an assault of shots all round the park, notching up our hundred. Having made it to 33, KK eventually played down the wrong line and was bowled by Neville making way for Spencer and Dave to close our innings on a very respectable 158-6.

As if to make a point and determined to put their earlier batting woes behind them, the HICCs came back out swinging and set off like a train with Ramani and Rockum finding early boundaries as the pair put on fifty before Kash found a way through the latter's defences. Ramani then skied one back up to a trademark 'heavy ball' from Davie G who kept his composure and decisively called to take the return catch. Dubey also fell victim to Gorton when he was castled for 10 but, regardless the HICCs looked to be in the box seat as they edged closer to the hundred with still more than half their overs remaining.

However what followed was a masterclass in spin from Spencer who, with a little help from Ron, tore through the oppo's late order, firstly trapping David LBW before a sharp stumping from Fenil to see off Giles. Ron deceived Thatcher to skid one through before taking the all-important catch to dismiss Tony. With plenty of time remaining whilst it remained theoretically possible for the Irregulars to steal the win, Spencer had other ideas as he ruthlessly ploughed through the tail to close out the game with a stunning fiver-fer to secure us victory by 17 runs.

A delightful duo of wins then for us to take with us to Chippers next weekend!

Gavin Richardson

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